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 clip -Kremlin propaganda led to questions and charges that an attack in
the city of Douma that killed scores of civilians was a hoax.

Scott Lucas
a journalist and professor of political science and international studies
at the University of Birmingham, told us although Moscow became militarily
involved in the Syrian conflict in 2015, they had a propaganda office at
the presidential palace in Damascus since the beginning. “From the very
start you could see how they were putting out muddled
<https://twitter.com/PatrickHilsman/status/984562578801049600> story lines
just to make you uncertain about what’s happening,” he told us.

The White Helmets, also known by their official title Syria Civil Defense,
are a non-governmental organization made up of volunteers who carry out
rescue efforts in rebel-held territory while wearing small cameras. Aside
from saving lives, they have been credited with documenting
crimes. Thus, they are targets of frequent (but unproven and unfounded)
smears that they are terrorists
are staging
flag” attacks.

Lucas told us attacking medical facilities
first responders then accusing them of terrorism is a Russian tactic,
because first responders in Syria — where it’s extremely difficult and
dangerous for foreign journalists to enter — are often key reporters of

The Russians would go after hospitals and first responders and the
propaganda would come out that you shouldn’t trust information from White
Helmets or doctors because they’re aligned with the terrorists. They were
deliberately bombing the area but saying you can’t trust anyone who is
reporting it.

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